Learning how to make pot roast is one of the more satisfying culinary endeavors you can undertake. There’s something immensely reassuring about taking big, cheap, tough cuts of meat, and, whether through slowly smoking or in this case, through braising, turning them into the moistest, most flavorful, most tender roasts ever to fall apart under the lightest pressure from a dinner fork.
Admittedly, this is Fall weather fare; I got the idea during last week’s peculiar cool snap, and didn’t actually get it in the oven until today, which seems to be unseasonably warm and humid. No matter. It will be cold here in Maine soon enough, and this is the kind of meal you will need to keep you warm until the next Summer begins…sometime in mid-July of next year, I suspect.
Yankee Pot Roast
Serves 6-8; Adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart
- 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1 3-4 pound beef chuck roast
- Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons (about 3 branches) fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 pound small white potatoes, halved
- 1 bunch of small carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 stalks of celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 cups pearl onions, trimmed and peeled
1. Preheat oven to 325. In a large Dutch oven, brown bacon over medium heat, stirring ocassionally, until bacon begins to crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to drain on paper towels.
2. Pat beef dry, season liberally with salt and pepper, and add beef to pot. Increase heat and turn using tongs to brown meat in bacon fat, on all sides. Transfer beef to a plate.
3. Reduce heat to medium, add 2 tablespoons butter to pan, and add yellow onion. Cook, stirring ocassionally, until onions begin to turn translucent, about 6 minutes.
4. Add garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add wine and water and cook, scraping brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, about 1 minute.
5. Add tomatoes (and juice) and check seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Return beef to pot and bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until beef is almost tender, about three hours.
6. Remove pot from oven, and add potatoes, carrots, celery, pearl onions, and cooked bacon around roast. Cover, return to oven, and cook until vegetables are tender, about an hour more. Remove beef from pot and let rest 15 minutes, then slice against the grain. Arrange on platter with cooked vegetables, and drizzle with braising liquid.